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 October 14, 2010: Volume 11, Number 24

 Rollerski Elbow Pain-2
Last Week we discussed Elbow Pain Oct 7 SkiPost
The discussion continues here: 
From: Phil Lawson

I have struggled with this issue as well and had some ideas to add:

- elbow pain with poling can be caused by a number of issues and, as noted, it is appropriate to see a sports (esp Nordic ski) knowledgeable provider (PT, massage therapist, physician, nurse practitioner...)

- one of the common causes is a tendinopathy of the triceps as is starts to insert onto the ulna (elbow) bone.  This causes pain just proximal (up or nearer to the shoulder) from the elbow usually on the medial (inner) side.   You can actually feel sore area along and underneath the musculotendinous unit as you engage the triceps muscle

- it is caused by the relatively harsh impact of the carbide on pavement and aggravated by the repetitive poling esp double poling which is more triceps specific than V2 or V1 with long poles...


A couple of more suggestions that might allow continued use at least to some degree if the problem continues despite recommendations already made:

1) alter technique slightly to extend arms a little more and bend elbows less.  Although this may reinforce bad technique, unloading the triceps by a more rigid elbow position in a more elongated arm makes you use you shoulders, and chest muscle more and triceps less

2) ice after particularly ice massage over the area

3) add a band or wrap around the arm just proximal (higher up) than the area of pain.  This helps unload the pressure to the arm band and off the triceps insertion onto the ulna.   You can use a stretchy tape, a hair band or similar.  It should be tight enough to cause compression that you can feel but not tight enough to cut off blood or nerve supply (your lower arm will get parasthesias (pins and needles) or become cold or sore if too tight).

4) acupressure from a knowledgeable massage therapist, PT or chiropractor to the area can sometimes break up areas and allow healing especially with appropriate use of ice and rest from poling

5) continue non impact triceps strengthening with weights or resistance bands is important to allow appropriate healing and use without atrophying the muscle


Long term continued use with unremitting pain after use can lead to or be signs of a stress fracture so don't hammer through it!


Phil Lawson MD



A Ski Marathoner Chasing Pheidippides, Part 4

The reality of this Master Skier's chase of Pheidippides from Marathonas to Athens on off-season ski training is approaching; the event takes place on October 31. I avoided running as a major part of ski training due to wear and injuries after the 1994 ski season, did the Backcountry Run in Sun Valley on a whim about 10 years ago, and have turned into a local masters bicycle racer.

The Athens Classic Marathon motivated about 10 runs up to one hour duration over the spring and summer and entry in an 8.6 mile road race out-of-the box over Labor Day. The event was in mountainous Idaho over wicked hills, half gravel, half pavement; nevertheless a road race, and close to one-third marathon distance. Without any baseline or reference came a decent average pace of 6:36 min./mile, but my heart rate was definitely a few beats below what I normally would have produced in a ski race or cycling time trail over the same time frame. The experience pointed at running efficiency as the limiting factor.

Extensive research involving copious data points suggests the efficient marathon race pace matches the effort yielding 2.5 (+/-) millimols lactate per liter blood. During recent training, my lactate 2.5 running pace has shown to be in the low 6:40's with a corresponding heart rate close to a predicted 94% of lactate 4, or threshold, pace. However, the perceived effort suggests this is beyond what the old legs can carry over 26 miles. The aerobic/anaerobic threshold numbers we often focus on in skiing are less applicable in this context. The training takes place at 6,000 feet of elevation; "Daniel's Running Calculator" suggests corresponding sea-level adjustments, but I have not dared to make such predictions. The out-of-sync legs again point to the lack or running efficiency.

The training focus soon went to running efficiency and form, efficiency, form, efficiency, form... Without time to accumulate mileage and hours as prescribed for marathon training, I opted to train my weakness in the marathon run, mainly the body alignment, running posture and form. That included positioning the pelvis for high hips, the forward lean, elbow bend and use of the arms, how to land on the ground and roll over the ball of the feet... Skiers studying the "basic position" may recognize a thing or two. This born-again runner certainly recognizes marathon form being different than what we practiced on the track as teen age middle distance runners. These skills have been practiced in bouts from 20 minutes to 16 miles since my Labor Day debut.

A recent Runner's World article and my more experienced wife have both stated 180 strides per minute being the optimally efficient cadence. Our buddy Nordic Dave, who in the glory days posted marathon times most people would be very proud of, added: "the marathon is all about staying focused to maintain the cadence." Ok, I get it. This is about turning it over, carrying the body weight as little as possible in each step. Perhaps that will help explaining the inefficacy of the displacement with both feet on the ground and corresponding late kick in diagonal skiing to my students. On Dave's advice I started running with a stop watch, counting steps. It was amazingly more productive to count 90/180 steps and clocking the time than stressing to fit 180 steps into 60 seconds, yet discovering the foot-pod accessory connecting to the GPS running watch further improved the process by making the counting obsolete. 180 may be challenging, but my old heavy legs have found a new home in the mid to upper 170s when things roll well. In any event, this is way different than scrambling forest trails and ski walking in the uphills.

The big run is a couple of weeks away; there will be more running, a few sessions of ski strength and some rollerskiing before heading to Athens. We are looking forward to good weather and good times, and only plan to outdo Pheidippides on the point of survival, upon which the experience will be told. Although a grunt over hours, something tells me this will be different than another Birkie.


Follow the event;athensclassicmarathon


Jon Engen 

Master Skier, 3-time Winter Olympian & Enthusiastic Athlete


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November 23 - 27, 2010


Join thousands of skinny skis in West Yellowstone, Montana for a week-long celebration of cross-country skiing.  Olympic athletes to first timers descend on this small, mountain town to make their first tracks of the season over the Thanksgiving holiday on perfectly groomed corduroy.  With the fourth Thursday in November falling late in the month, another successful snow packed festival is anticipated.

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 SAVE THE DATES: January 29 - February 6, 2011


The Second Annual Sun Valley Nordic Festival will take place January 29-February 6, 2011.  The festival features 9 days of activities, races, clinics and fun events along with a discounted, 9-day valley-wide Nordic trail pass, $13,000 prize money, discounts on demos/rentals, lodging and dining which showcase and celebrate Sun Valley's well-deserved reputation as "Nordic Town USA".


Highlights of the festival include:

     Ski the Rails & Hailey Music Celebration- a family-friendly "ski at your own pace" tour along the Wood River Trail. 

      Regional Snowshoe Qualifier for the 2011 National Championships - at the Sun Valley Nordic Center.

      Galena & The Trails Winter Benefit - A celebration and fundraiser for one of the communities gems, "Galena Lodge" and the vast trail system managed by the BCRD near the lodge in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area

      Ketchum Night Sprint Relay & Music Celebration - a celebration of all things Nordic featuring live music, sprint races with cash prizes, ice sculptures, warm food and beverages, bonfires, and the 2nd Annual World Snowshoe Dance Competition.

      200K Trails Challenge - a non-competitive challenge to ski the area's world class trails.

      Sun Valley Twilight Ski and Fireside Social - at the Sun Valley Nordic Center.

      Swix Boulder Mountain Tour - The festival culminates with the renowned race with over 800 participants on the beautiful 32K course on the North Valley Trails with prize money over $11,000.  The Half Boulder Race will also be offered for a racer who want a little less of a challenge, and offers a special Parent/Child Combo entry fee.

      Demo Days - at the Sun Valley Nordic Center with staff and industry representatives with information, product testing and demonstrations on the newest technology.

      Other great activities include:  Nordic Hall of Fame Brunch at the Ketchum/Sun Valley Ski & Heritage Museum, Banff Mountain Film Festival, Galena Training and Boulder Mountain Prep Clinic, Backcountry Film Festival in Hailey, Snowshoe Walks, Nordic Event Speakers at the Community Library, a ski/dining experience at Alturas Lake and Smiley Creek and more.


Sun Valley has a well-deserved reputation for world-class alpine skiing, but is also making a name as "Nordic Town USA" with the best Nordic ski terrain in the US.  In fact, it's so good; members of the Norwegian Olympic Nordic Ski Team come to the valley to train.  Sun Valley has plenty to offer Nordic skiers and winter recreationalists of all ages and abilities, from over 200 kilometers of groomed trails and one of the country's premier Nordic ski races, unmatched snow and weather conditions, and a vibrant community of Nordic skiers and sports enthusiasts, to plenty of other top-notch yet affordable recreational and cultural diversions.   For all the cool deals on lodging, dining, and activities, please visit  
SkiTrax FIS Fantasy World Cup, TdS, Oslo Contests Launching Soon


October 13, 2010 (Toronto, ON) - With the elite level race season starting soon we're excited to announce that our international FIS Fantasy Contests are back following phenomenal response last year, both here and abroad. Once again we're featuring three great opportunities to win fabulous prizes while catching all of the race action during the World Cup, the Tour de Ski, and the 2011 Oslo World Championships in Norway.

FIS is on board as well as Fischer,  Trapp Family Lodge, Swix, Auclair, and many others soon to be announced who are all contributing great prizes this season once again - entry is free so don't miss this great opportunity to win while enjoying some superb racing.

We'll be announcing the launch and format shortly with some new twists and the added excitement of the 2011 Nordic Worlds. So start planning your teams and strategy and stay tuned to for more details in the coming days as team registration will begin soon.

8th Annual Steamboat Nordic Camp
Dec 11 - 12th, 2010 

Kick off your ski season with area's top coaches helping you improve your skills. A remarkable collection of coaching talent including former Nordic Olympian Sarah Konrad and top area coaches will assemble for the 2-day instructional camp to take place Friday evening at Ski Haus, and Saturday at The Lake Catamount Touring Center and Sunday at Steamboat Ski Touring Center 

The Camp caters to all ability levels: true beginner to advanced and race oriented. Clinic groups are divided by ability and group size is small so that participants can get the most from their coach. Thanks to Ski Haus, 10/11 Nordic ski equipment will be available to demo at the "try before you buy" demo tents: Fischer, Salomon, Rossignol, Atomic, SWIX, Toko, Madshus representatives will be on hand with equipment and information to assist you. Last but not least, hearty lunches, happy hour, great prizes and fun camaraderie add to this "not to be missed" Nordic event. For more information and to register:
Early registration fees are $165 for two days and $100 for one day through Dec. 4th. Register online at or in person at Ski Haus. Sign up early, this camp will fill up.  Early registration fees are $165 for two days and $100 for one day through Dec. 4th. Register online at or in person at Ski Haus. Sign up early, this camp will fill up.  
Three More CXC Masters Team Camps to Look Forward To Before the End of 2010

CXC Masters Team Members still have three exciting camps to look forward to before the end of 2010. We will meet in Hayward on Friday, October 15th and train until Sunday October 17th. This camp is a chance to get together with other Masters Team Members for some great training. The Yellowstone Ski Festival will be available to Masters Team Members with a great hotel rate and meal plan available to members, and the New Year camp will also be on the schedule. 

Our membership spots are limited at this point for the CXC Masters Team, but please contact us to learn more about the program and its benefits. Email Yuriy Gusev at

 MN Nordic Ski Expo

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Enjoy Winter,
Andrew Gerlach
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